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Where you live affects your green slip price

When you buy insurance, the premium you pay often depends on your address. Green slip prices also vary depending on where you live. This is because actuaries spend a lot of time working out the risk of an insurance claim in one suburb over another. Find out how where you live affects the price of your green slip.

What are geographical zones?

One big factor in green slip prices is geographical zone or rating region. Insurers have to set greenslip prices on the basis of rating regions in the Motor Accident Guidelines. State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), not the CTP insurers, allocates these regions.

NSW is divided into five rating regions based on the risk of someone living there having an accident and making a claim:

  • Metro
  • Outer Metro
  • Newcastle
  • Wollongong
  • Country.

Some suburbs make more claims than others

Green slip prices are set according to your suburb, not just the postcode. This is because some suburbs have higher claim rates, while they may share their postcode with a suburb with lower claim rates. It means five postcodes are split between two rating zones:

2083 – Metro (eg, Brooklyn) or Newcastle/Central coast (eg, Mooney Mooney)
2560 – Metro (eg, Campbelltown) or Outer metro (eg, Appin)
2750 – Metro (eg, Penrith) or Outer metro (eg, Emu Plains)
2753 – Metro (eg, Richmond) or Outer metro (eg, Yarramundi)
2756 – Metro (eg, Windsor) or Outer metro (eg, Colo)

Many areas north of the harbour and south of Botany Bay are similar to country NSW with a claim rate 30% less than the metro average. Yet parts of Sydney’s west and southwest have a claim rate 80% higher than the metro average.

If people make more claims in Metro areas, does that mean there are more deaths in Metro areas? In fact, it’s the opposite.

More Australians die on rural roads

Two thirds of Australians live in Metro areas, yet two thirds of deaths occur on remote and rural roads. In October 2020, the national rate of annual deaths per 100,000 population was 4.4. However, this rate increases rapidly with remoteness of location:

  • The fatality rate for remote areas (20.3) is double regional areas and ten times more than major cities (2.2)
  • In inner regional areas, the death rate (7.8) is nearly four times higher
  • In outer regional areas, the death rate (13.5) is over six times higher than in cities.

NSW statistics mirror national ones: about two thirds of road deaths are in the country. To put it another way, there are twice as many deaths in the country as in the city.

  Year to Nov 2020 2017-19 Average
Metro 114 (36%) 120 (34%)
Country urban 69 (22%) 90 (25%)
Country non-urban 131 (42%) 152 (42%)
Total 314 363

Are rural roads more dangerous?

It is true some rural roads are potentially more dangerous:

  • Drivers tend to travel at higher speeds
  • Travelling distances are longer
  • Roads are more varied with unsealed, dirt roads
  • Vehicles are more varied, such as heavy agricultural and mining vehicles.

Of course, drivers on rural roads are also more prone to accidents with wild animals.  NSW roads are the most dangerous in Australia for animal accidents. For the fourth year running, Queanbeyan, just outside Canberra, is the top hotspot. The worst regional town for colliding with animals is Dubbo, followed by Goulburn and Mudgee.

Remember your CTP green slip does not cover damage done by an animal to your car. CTP covers only injuries and deaths of people involved in the crash. For coverage of property, you need comprehensive insurance.

Is there a difference between Metro and Country green slip prices?

Yes, there is a difference between Metro and Country green slip prices. It does depend on where you live. According to greenslips.com.au research using a notional safe driver of a sedan, all insurers charge 31% higher prices in Metro areas than Country areas. However, a Metro Ute driver could pay just over double for their green slip compared to a Country Ute driver.

  Sedan*     Ute*    
  Metro County Diff Metro Country Diff
QBE $415 $316 +31.3% $624 $292 2.1x
Youi $434 $331 +31.1% $651 $304 2.1x
Allianz $471 $358 +31.6% $740 $347 2.1x
NRMA Insurance $534 $406 +31.5% $781 $367 2.1x
GIO $434 $331 +31.1% $664 $310 2.1x
AAMI $435 $331 +31.4% $652 $305 2.1x
Average $454 $346 +31.2% $685 $321 2.1x

* 12 month prices from www.greenslips.com.au in December 2020

If two thirds of deaths are on rural roads, why do vehicle owners in Metro areas pay more for their green slip than those in Country areas?

Serious injuries on NSW roads

One answer may be related to the rate of serious injuries. While 64% of road deaths are in the country, 60% of serious injuries are in Metro areas:

  12 months ending
March 2020
12 months ending
March 2019
Metropolitan 2,645 (60%) 3,032 (58%)
Country 1,795 (40%) 2,211 (42%)
Total 4,440 5,243

Sadly, people who are seriously injured in road accidents could need treatment for years or even for their lifetime. It could cost the insurer over a million dollars for a very seriously injured claimant. This is why part of the cost of your green slip goes towards those with catastrophic lifetime injuries.

Change where you live

In most cases, you can’t do much about where you live. But it is still important to declare your true address. If you have just moved house, you have to tell Service NSW within 14 days. Your greenslip is directly linked to your vehicle’s registration. That means when you change your address, it will automatically update your address with the CTP insurer.

Should you move from one geographical zone to another, you will see a change in the price of your green slip. If you want to see for yourself how green slip prices differ across NSW, then use the greenslips.com.au calculator. You might want to move to the country!

Corrina Baird

Writer and expert greenslips.com.au

Corrina used to lend her car to her kids and discovered first hand what Ls, Ps and demerits mean for greenslips. After 20 years of writing and research in financial services, she’s an expert in the NSW CTP scheme. Read more about Corrina

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